Laying Oak Flooring

Solid oak flooring is a fantastic way to bring a room to life – it’s hard-wearing, and can be used in both traditional and contemporary settings to great effect.

shutterstock_216964192Current trends are seeing darker woods become more popular for flooring. Oak, with its mid-range colouring, is a welcome choice and complements virtually any style or colour scheme it’s paired with.

Moreover, oak is incredibly long lasting and durable, and has been used in the building and construction trade for generations. There’s actually been a resurgence in the construction of oak framed buildings, as there were so many examples of centuries-old ones still standing.

As a material it’s therefore very suitable as flooring for rooms in the house that might be subject to a lot of wear and tear – especially if you’ve got children that’ll be running all over it!

Before laying oak flooring

If you’re planning on laying a solid oak floor as part of a total renovation of a room, it’s a good idea to choose the wood near the start of the project.

The shade of the wood can change how the colours of your painted or wallpapered walls appear. You don’t want to pre-purchase all your decorating materials to find that, after fitting the floor, they don’t look how you imagined!

It’s also smart to add in a ‘buffer’ when it comes to calculating how much material you’ll need for your floor, to take into account any potential wastage or off-cuts. We recommend factoring in an extra five per cent on top of what you’ve measured out.

When laying solid wooden flooring, it’s essential to make sure that the whole area is thoroughly dried out, sealed from the elements, and that all wet building trades (e.g. concreting, plastering, painting) have been completed.

To ensure your oak flooring acclimatises to the room it’s to be laid in, it’s advised the wood is left inside the room for around a week before work starts.

Oak flooring can be laid over practically anything – concrete, tiles, or floorboards are all fine – you’ll simply need to ensure that any sub-floor is sound and level. If it isn’t, consider fitting a sub-base of chipboard or plywood.

If laying directly over concrete you’ll need to glue it down, or use a self-adhesive membrane (beware – these are incredibly sticky!) ¬†and for fixing onto existing timber, nailing the oak flooring down is the way to go.

However, solid oak flooring over underfloor heating is not advised.

Keeping an oak floor looking great

The finish on an oak floor actually improves as time passes. Colours get richer and you’ll see an aesthetic improvement just a handful of years after it was laid.

One of the other benefits of choosing oak is that natural wear and tear won’t be wholly detrimental to the look of the floor. However, looking after it is important.

By regularly sweeping and running a vacuum cleaner over it, you’ll remove any surface dirt that could damage the surface. This is particularly important for any parts of the floor that lead directly to a front or back door, where it’ll have more exposure to shoes and external debris.


Oak is available in an array of styles and dimensions. Where it lacks compared to carpet is the ability to be patterned – but a strong grain profile can provide an even better look.

Moreover, oak takes very well to being stained because of its naturally pale look. Both water and oil based finishes work well with oak flooring, with just one or two coats normally being enough to give it full and rich colour. However, it’s important that each layer is given the time to dry, enabling you to remove any dust that would otherwise affect the following coat.

Whether you want to accentuate the rural and rustic feel of a countryside cottage or add a bit of texture to a modern house, oak flooring can be the perfect fit for your home!

Oak flooring from Sussex Oak

All of our solid oak flooring is produced from kiln dried material, dried to an average of 12% moisture content.

It comes machined with tongued and grooved edges, and has stress relieving grooves to the underside to keep it flat. The boards are end matched and are subsequently very easy to lay – you can either nail them down, float the floor, or glue them.

Our flooring is available in 22mm thickness and in 120, 140, 160, 180 and 200mm finished widths.

To help protect your oak floor, we stock the Fiddes range of floor wax and other finishing products and can help you select the best product for your application.

We also now have a floor and edge sander available for hire, should you need to revitalise some wood flooring to its former glory.

Should you wish to discuss your specific requirements for your oak floor don’t hesitate to get in touch, or alternatively visit us at our yard in Newhaven.

Even if you’re not sure of your exact requirements, we’re happy to advise you to ensure you pick the right floor for your project.